Seventeen people died on Feb. 14 when a man with a gun entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and opened fire. Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 and sent a group of teenagers into overdrive in demanding change and common sense gun reform. One month later, thousands of high school students walked out of class to remind everyone that they are still fighting for that change.
It has been one month since 17 people at a Florida high school were killed by a man wielding an AR-15.
It’s a month today. It’s a month later and I still feel like I should be seeing them on their way to class. It’s a month later and we are still fighting for them. Its a month later and our school has not been forgotten. It’s a month later and we are walking out with the nation.
— giuliana. #neveragain (@giu0807) March 14, 2018
The nation was devastated when the news broke of another school shooting targeting America’s youth. Yet, something about this felt different. The students began to mobilize on social media to start creating change. A viral video of young people calling “BS” on arguments against gun reform reached millions and Emma Gonzalez became the face of a new gun reform fight. As thousands of students participated in walkouts across the country, it is clear that the younger generation is not backing down.
Students in some parts of the country stood in freezing weather to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting last month.
— abby (@vespercoin) March 14, 2018
The demonstrations took place across the country. All of them included 17 minutes of silence in honor of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Students and schools displayed photos of victims of gun violence.
Lamphere is #ParklandStrong !! We are remembering, we are still grieving from a senseless shooting that took life’s of innocent students. Something must and will be done. This will end now. pic.twitter.com/ppxK5qfTFy
— lauren (@laurenbeamm) March 14, 2018
Participants of the walkouts and demonstrations want people to understand the real human toll of gun violence in the country.
Entire schools joined in the walkouts.
— Love, Sami (@SamiGalbraith) March 14, 2018
And some school administrators joined and encouraged students in their walkouts.
Middleton HS Principal to gathered students who observed 17 minutes of silence: “It takes a lot of strength to stand up for what you believe in…I admire those of you demonstrated that, because it’s not always easy to say, ‘This is what I believe in.’” #NationalWalkoutDay #Idaho pic.twitter.com/fWPKhbg17Z
— Nicole Foy (@nicoleMfoy) March 14, 2018
Some schools, however, have threatened students with disciplinary action for participating in the walkouts. Some schools have threatened such severe punishments that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has had to remind schools of what they are legally allowed to do.
Even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joined students in protesting for gun reform.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 14, 2018
Gov. Cuomo joined students at Zuccotti Park for a die-in. Die-ins have been used to bring attention to other public health issues, including the AIDs epidemic. Demonstrators laid on the ground to represent the bodies claimed by gun violence to give spectators a visual representation. The demonstrators chanted “never again” and “not one more,” common phrases echoed in the movement.
Sentiment on social media is clearly in favor of the students.
— Bryan Ellicott (@b_ellicott) March 14, 2018
While millions of Americans are at work, in class, or elsewhere, they have taken to social media to celebrate the walkouts.
With much pride, parents are celebrating their socially activated children.
— furious (@furey) March 14, 2018
This user wants people to remember that this eventually boils down to a political issue.
Just a reminder that @gop @HouseGOP @SenateGOP @SenateMajLdr @SpeakerRyan did nothing after the slaughter of 20 1st graders. Now they’re just ??? hoping the movement started by the #ParklandStrong Teens goes away. Hold them accountable #VoteThemOut #2018midterms
— Bearnmind (@Bearnmind) March 14, 2018
It is true that voting matters. If your elected representative it not doing what you want, it is your duty to vote for what you want.